By: Hans Themistode
There is a new trend in boxing. Minimize the risk while maximizing the reward.
What that essentially means is, many fighters would rather avoid facing the best competition that they can while also getting the most money for facing inferior opponents.
No fighter would actually admit to this theory, but it’s evident.
That precious 0 in the loss column means everything to fighters. Even those who have already suffered a few defeats in their career are still hesitant to take risks. It makes sense.
Why take on a great fighter for roughly a million dollars when you can face someone who faces significantly less of a threat for roughly the same amount of money? From a business standpoint, it doesn’t make any sense at all.
Not all fighters however, are driven by money alone.
Canelo Alvarez recently signed the biggest deal in sports history at the time with the streaming app DAZN. So of course money is important to him, but just as important, is his legacy.
While Alvarez was an undefeated 21 year old, he took on the biggest challenges that he possibly could. He successfully defeated future hall of famer Shane Mosley. He then followed that up with wins over Josesito Lopez and Austin Trout.
He continued his tough road by taking on Floyd Mayweather at the age of 23 which resulted in his first and only loss. That didn’t discourage Alvarez, it only made him hunger to get better. Getting better is exactly what Alvarez has done as he is now the biggest name in the sport of boxing.
Alvarez consistently takes on tough challenge after tough challenge. For him, he wouldn’t want it any other way.
“I like a challenge,” said Alvarez when asked about why he enjoys difficult fights a few months back. “I want to leave behind a legacy that will make me remembered with some of the best fighters that have ever entered the ring.”
With youth still on his side, Alvarez already has an outstanding resume. In his most recent ring appearance he defeated Daniel Jacobs and unified the Middleweight titles. He has the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Amir Khan and Miguel Cotto also on his list of wins. No one would blink an eye if he decided to take a soft touch for his upcoming November 2nd contest, but Alvarez isn’t built that way.
The Middleweight division is stacked with talent. WBO champion Demetrius Andrade, WBC belt holder Jermall Charlo and of course former unified champion and long time rival Gennady Golovkin were all options. In true Alvarez fashion, he went the complete opposite way.
On November 2nd in Las Vegas, Nevada, Alvarez will move up two weight classes to take on WBO Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. It was a move that was rumored to be the most likely for Alvarez, but still, now that it is official, it is almost unbelievable that this is the path he actually choose.
For those who are criticizing Alvarez’s choice should take a seat. Kovalev might not be the fighter he once was but he is still one of the very best fighters in the division. Let’s also not forget that there is no weight class clauses. At least none that have been reported. Meaning, Alvarez will face Kovalev as a full fledged Light Heavyweight.
Canelo Alvarez was already a great fighter and arguably the best pound for pound. With his move to the Light Heavyweight division however, he is cementing his legacy as one of the very best fighters in history.